The “busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere” is getting an upgrade, and according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), about a half a million dollars worth of new artwork will be part of the package. The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry, the border crossing facility for the San Diego-Tijuana region, has been undergoing a $735 million modernization project spanning more than a decade. Since phase three of the project is included in President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget, the GSA has begun soliciting contractors, and that includes artists who will be commissioned to provided approximately $500,000 in new artwork for the new buildings.

GSA will modernize and expand the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry to better meet the needs of its tenants: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The project entails the phased reconfiguration and expansion of the existing facility to improve pedestrian and vehicular processing, increase operational efficiency, provide greater officer and public safety, decrease operational and maintenance costs, and improve the traveler’s experience of crossing the border. The full build-out consists of the demolition and construction of the new port, including primary and secondary inspection areas, administration building, pedestrian building, and other supporting structures…
GSA allocates one-half of one percent of the estimated construction costs of new or modernized federal buildings for art commissions. The art budget for Phase 3 of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry project is estimated at $500,000. One or more artists will be awarded a fixed-price contract for a commission.

The plan for the San Ysidro facility is in keeping with the GSA’s “Art in Architecture” program, in which one-half of one percent of the construction costs for new federal buildings is budgeted for artwork. The GSA’s website describes the program:

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